Slow Food Quad Cities spent Sunday, September 11 up in Donahue, Iowa, at Miss Effie’s Country Flowers and Garden Stuff.
The Farm Crawl took place at four farms – Miss Eff’s, Sawyer Beef, Behnke Poultry, and Triple Creek Dairy. Each farm had a bunch of activities as well as tours & tasty food. There was a wealth of stuff to do at Miss Effie’s, with booths and animal friends from Zen Goaties, Crosswinds Farm, Smith Farms, Farm Genevieve, My Mommy’s Creations, and more. You could buy fantabulous salted nut rolls, homemade bread and cookies, hand-spun yarn, handmade baskets, and about 300 other crafty items and tasty treats. And Slow Food Quad Cities was there to sell lemonade!
The blueberry lemonade was a massive sensation, the herbal and honey lemonades intrigued and delighted the farm crawlers, and the rhubarb lemonade (which we had in limited quantity) sold out hours before the end of the day!
We each took a break or two to wander around Miss Eff’s and check out the activities she was offering – as well as her beautiful farm. We liked visiting the chickens, who seemed pretty happy about getting our lemon rinds.
Miss Effie’s cats are always the stars of the show.
And there are so many little details around the farm that will bring a smile to your face… farm crawlers loved this daybed tucked away by the willow tree.
It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to be a part of it. We’re grateful to all the folks who came out to visit Miss Effie’s, and especially those who stopped by our table for a drink! So many people were interested in our herb syrups that I’m going to share the (very easy) process of making them.
Herb syrup: Add one part sugar and one part water to a saucepan and heat at medium-high, stirring regularly. Toss in a big handful (the more sugar and water, the bigger the handful) of herbs – try mint, lavender, basil, lemon balm, or anything else you love. You can combine herbs for a more complex flavor. If stems are very woody, just use the leaves and discard the stems. When the mixture comes to a boil, let it continue to boil for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Strain through a coffee filter to remove herbs and keep the syrup clear and pretty. These will keep in the fridge for a fairly long time, or you can freeze them, or can them by processing in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. If you start with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, you’ll get about 1-1/2 cups of syrup.
Herbal lemonade: In a 12-ounce glass, mix 2 tablespoons of herb syrup and 1-1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Add water and ice. Drink and remember your lovely day at the Farm Crawl!